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Going the Distance for Exceptional Joint Replacement Surgery

May, 2015—Linda Golden’s journey to receive a hip and knee replacement at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital started in June 2014. The right hip and left knee of the Casper, Wyoming, native had been stiff and painful, and got in the way of gardening and keeping up with her grandchildren.

Jeff Martin, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, had performed knee surgery on Golden’s son in law. When Golden came to Defiance, Mo., in June 2014, to visit her daughter and son in law, and attend her triplet grandchildrens’ high school graduation, her daughter scheduled her an appointment with Dr. Martin. She liked Dr. Martin and decided to return to St. Louis for a hip replacement in July and a knee replacement in September. She recovered at her daughter’s home in Defiance.

Dr. Martin and his colleague and fellow orthopedic surgeon Paul Lux, MD, perform all of their joint replacement surgeries at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.

“It’s a common fact across the country that where you do a large volume of surgeries, the results are better,” Dr. Martin adds.

“It’s very gratifying to be able to help so many people who are often in pain that can be relieved. We have a stable and seasoned staff in the operating room and on the nursing floor. We focus on doing one thing well and doing the right thing for our patients.”

“Dr. Martin and I started performing joint replacements at Barnes-Jewish West Hospital more than 20 years ago,” Dr. Lux adds. “Now we are an orthopedic center of excellence and perform 1,000 hip and knee replacements each year.”

Doing joint replacements well is why Paul and Ruth Rahlfs returned to Dr. Lux. The Rahlfs have shared
a lot during 49 years of marriage, including double knee replacements. 

On July 29, 2013, the couple from Chester, Ill., each had a right total knee replacement performed by Dr. Lux. They recovered and returned to their busy schedule of working with the Boy Scouts, camping and keeping up with five grandchildren.

But over the summer their left knees began to bother them. They didn’t hesitate to make the 90-minute trip to return to Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital on Nov. 24 to have their left knees replaced.

Arthritis caused both Golden and the Rahlfs to need joint replacements. Both Drs. Lux and Martin see a majority of patients who are in pain due to osteoarthritis or a genetic condition of some kind, but they also treat patients who may require a joint replacement due to trauma.

“Hip and knee replacements are much easier on patients than they were in the past thanks to better anesthesia and improved technologies and most are now minimally invasive procedures,” Dr. Lux says.

The Rahlfs were home in time for Thanksgiving. “The care from Dr. Lux and Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital was wonderful,” Ruth Rahlfs says.

“It’s amazing how easy the hip replacement recovery was,” Golden says. “Knees are a little more difficult, you have to keep them moving and flexible, but even the knee recovery was not bad,”
she says.

After spending Thanksgiving with her family in Defiance, Golden returned to Wyoming. “Everyone at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital was very nice,” Golden says. “It was all positive, even the food was good. Dr. Martin was great, and his nurses were so good. I wouldn’t think twice if I had to come back for another knee or hip replacement.”

U.S.News & World Report has rated orthopedic services at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital as high performing four years in a row.

To schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, click here, or call 314-542-WEST (9378). 

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